Thesis Opportunities

The following TRIUMF members are actively recruiting students. If you are interested in working with them, feel free to contact them to obtain more information.


John Behr

Beta- and neutrino- decay correlations with atom traps

03/2015 - 12/2019

Opportunities through UBC, and U. Manitoba.

We use laser trapping and cooling techniques with a table-top sized apparatus to precisely test the Standard Model of the weak interaction. We can measure the neutrino momentum from spin-polarized beta-decaying atoms from the momentum of the other decay products.

We are also trapping francium atoms, the heaviest alkali atom, with an eventual goal of measuring weak neutral current effects in atoms.


Oliver Stelzer-Chilton - Data Analysis with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC

09/2015 - 09/2020

For Run 2 the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland near Geneva will collide protons at a center of mass energy of over 13 TeV. During this run that will last from 2015-2018 the ATLAS experiment will collect a dataset of approximately 100/fb. The newly discovered Higgs boson is a perfect laboratory to test the Standard Model of particle physics and search for New Physics.


David Morrissey - Cosmology with Colliders

09/2015 - 08/2016

The Standard Model of particle physics is unable to account for dark matter or the excess of matter over antimatter. Both observations therefore point towards new physics beyond the SM. The goal of this project will be to investigate extensions of the SM that explain these cosmological observations, and to study how these extensions might be probed at high-energy particle colliders such as the LHC.


Iris Dillmann - Beta-delayed neutron studies for r-process nucleosynthesis

04/2015 - 03/2019

The "beta-delayed neutron emission" process is a key ingredient to understand the solar abundance pattern created by the rapid neutron capture process in core collapse supernovae or neutron star mergers. For this, one major focus in many radioactive beam facilities worldwide, including TRIUMF's ISAC facility now and in future employing the ARIEL upgrade, is the investigation of very neutron-rich, short-lived isotopes for their decay properties. This PhD thesis topic will cover experiments at TRIUMF with the GRIFFIN and DESCANT setup, as well as the participation in experiments at the RIKEN facility in Japan with the new BRIKEN neutron detection setup in 2015-17.


Makoto Fujiwara - ALPHA Antimatter Proejct at CERN

02/2015 - 12/2017

ALPHA is an international project at CERN, whose goal is to study symmetry between matter and antimatter using "bottled" antihyrogen atom. The Canadian group, consisting about 1/3 of the Collaboration, is involved in a variety of projects, including antimatter detection, plasma and atom traps, microwave spectroscopy, and laser spectroscopy and cooling. The students will have an opportunity to specialize in any of these topics, while being exposed to a wide range of experimental techniques, including electronics, detector, simulations, software, laser, microwaves, cryogenics, vacuum, and sophisticated data analysis.


Ruediger Picker - Neutron electric dipole moment measurement

02/2015 - 12/2015

Right after the Big Bang, particle anti-particle pairs are created. These annihilate back to energy, but a tiny excess of matter stays, making our existence possible. One ingredient of this matter anti-matter asymmetry is CP violation, which might show up in a non-zero electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron. This makes EDM measurements the flagship of fundamental neutron physics.

We use ultra-cold neutrons (UCN), which have energies of less than 300 neV and temperatures of mK. They can be confined in material bottles for long periods of time due to internal reflection. The UCN group is currently constructing a UCN Facility at TRIUMF to be commissioned in 2016. The flagship experiment for this facility will be a measurement of the neutron EDM. 

Opportunities for a graduate student exist to be involved in both, the UCN source commissioning and EDM development, data taking and analysis.


Petr Navratil - Ab initio calculations of nuclear structure and reactions

03/2015 - 06/2016

In this project, we study atomic nuclei as quantum many-body systems made by protons and neutrons interacting with forces that originate from the fundamental theory of Quantum Chromo-dynamics. The overarching goal is to develop a predictive ab initio theory of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions for light and medium mass nuclei. Such a theory is needed for understanding of exotic nuclei investigated at rare isotope facilities like ISAC at TRIUMF, for testing fundamental symmetries, for understanding of nuclear reactions important for astrophysics as well as for understanding of fusion reactions important for the future energy generation. At the same time, it provides a feedback on the quality of inter-nucleon iteractions used as input to these calculations and ultimately helps to improve our knowledge of the nucleon-nucleon interaction, and in particular of the still-not-completely-understood three-nucleon interaction.


Jason D. Holt - The strong interaction at low energies: from exotic nuclei to neutrinoless double-beta decay

09/2015 - 08/2018

One of the central challenges in nuclear physics is to understand and predict the properties of stable and exotic nuclei, for which three-nucleon (3N) forces are crucial and present a current frontier. Chiral effective field theory provides a systematic basis for consistent nuclear forces, electroweak currents, and theoretical uncertainties. This project will involve developing 3N forces, chiral currents, and powerful ab initio many-body methods to explore exotic physics in strongly interacting systems. With recent theoretical and computational advances, we are in a key position to connect the observations made in rare-isotope beam facilities across the world to the underlying strong interactions governing the properties of nuclei. This project has far-ranging applications from determining the limits of existence of matter, to nuclear matrix elements of neutrinoless double-beta decay that probe the nature and mass scale of the neutrino, to dark matter scattering off nuclei.


Fabrice Retiere - nEXO photo-detector development

09/2015 - 08/2017

The goal of the next generation Enriched Xenon Observatory (nEXO) experiment is to measure the possible neutrino-less double beta decay (0νββ) of 136Xe or set a competitive limit on the rate of this decay. The detection of 0νββ would address one of the key question of particle physics by showing that neutrinos are their own anti-particles and allow measuring the absolute neutrino mass. nEXO is currently being designed using about the same detector configuration as its sister experiment EXO-200. Our group focuses on the development of the scintillation light detection system for nEXO, which is a critical element of the experiment for achieving the desired energy resolution hence desired sensitivity. Our projects involve the characterization and simulations of the light emission and propagation processes possibly constrained by EXO-200 data as well as the development of new photo-detectors with good efficiency at 175nm, low radioactive background, operated in Liquid Xenon.


Glen M. Marshall - Muon g-2

07/2015 - 03/2018

High precision measurements and Standard Model calculations of the muon anomalous magnetic moment ("muon g-2") disagree at the level of ~3.5 standard deviations, motivating a Fermilab re-measurement of the current Brookhaven result. A small Canadian group is collaborating on a unique variation to measure g-2 independently at J-PARC in Japan in a much smaller but extremely high precision muon storage ring. Combining state-of-the-art high power pulsed muon beams, storage magnet technology, precision muon tracking detectors, and high-power pulsed laser systems, it relies on a TRIUMF-developed method to produce thermal muonium for laser ionization as an "ultra-cold" muon beam source. Our J-PARC collaboration aims to compete with the Fermilab project to improve the experimental precision of g-2.

The Canadian group is especially interested in development of the target and producing the first ultra-cold beams at J-PARC and RAL (UK), as well supporting research and analysis at TRIUMF.